Diamonds sparkle against Cherries
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Hartlepool travelled to Sincil Bank with a healthy cushion at the head of affairs but a 3-0 reverse saw their lead eaten into by Rushden.
Allan Pearce fired Lincoln ahead just before half-time and goals inside the closing ten minutes from Peter Gain and Matthew Bloomer sealed an impressive win which boosts The Red Imps' play-off prospects.
Onandi Lowe's 84th minute penalty proved decisive at Nene Park as second-placed Rushden overcame third-placed Bournemouth.
Duane Darby had earlier given the hosts the lead on 20 minutes but The Cherries were level before the interval courtesy of Warren Feeney.
Bury were unable to take advantage of Bournemouth's slip-up as they crashed to a surprise home defeat to struggling Bristol Rovers.
Robert Quinn's 65th minute winner handed The Pirates a priceless three points in their quest to avoid the dreaded drop.
Oxford United also fluffed the chance to move into the automatic promotion places as they suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Leyton Orient.
Chris Tate fired the visitors ahead on 17 minutes and Andrew Harris' 54th minute effort wrapped up the win.
Bottom club Exeter City inched closer to survival with a rugged victory over Wrexham which was sealed by Steve Flack's 73rd minute goal.
Swansea City failed to make their numerical superiority count over fellow strugglers Boston United in a stalemate at Vetch Field.
Boston had Tom Bennett sent off on 68 minutes for a second yellow card and he was joined for an early bath by Stuart Douglas on 81 minutes.
Macclesfield now occupy one of the two relegation berths after Stuart Elliott's goal on the stroke of half-time gave Hull City a second consecutive away win.
Kidderminster Harriers climbed up the table to the fringes of the play-off zone as John Melligan's second half goal settled their clash at home to Southend.
York City's play-off aspirations were dented at Darlington as Barry Conlon gave The Quakers a late win.
Danny Mellanby had put the hosts in front on the half-hour but Lee Bullock appeared to have rescued a point for York until Conlon struck.
Cambridge and Rochdale shared four goals at The Abbey Stadium as the visitors came from behind to claim a point.
Lee McEvilly had put Dale ahead on two minutes but Dave Kitson and Shane Tudor gave The U's a half-time lead which lasted just six minutes into the second period when Pat McCourt levelled matters.
Click below for an individual match summary:
Bury 0-1 Bristol Rovers
Cambridge United 2-2 Rochdale
Darlington 2-1 York City
Exeter City 1-0 Wrexham
Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 Southend United
Lincoln City 3-0 Hartlepool United
Macclesfield Town 0-1 Hull City
Oxford United 0-2 Leyton Orient
Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 Bournemouth
Swansea City 0-0 Boston United